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Meetings are hard. Meetings that run on schedule are even harder. Why?

To keep your association running, it’s inevitable. From time to time, you need to meet with your members, and your member groups need to get together. Online communities are great, but quarterly or yearly meetings are fairly unavoidable.

To add to the stress, even though your meetings are scheduled on a regular basis, they never quite go according to plan.

Minutes from the last meeting might have a discrepancy that requires a debate and motion to pass, before you can even commence. Discussion points that are not on the agenda somehow make their way into the meeting. Points that should be quick motions to approve require hours of debate.

The holdup might be different each time, but you see where I’m going with this. It’s nothing for a meeting that’s scheduled to take 30 minutes to take an hour or more. Or, when time constraints exist because of room assignments and other events, for important discussion topics to be pushed onto the next meeting (or onto a previously-unscheduled phone conference), that leads to frustration all around.

Guess what? It doesn’t have to be this way. Follow the steps below to make your next meeting a breeze!

Keep Members Talking

If your group and committee members only see each other every 3 months, or even every 12 months, there’s a certain amount of catching up that’s to be expected at the start of every in-person event or meeting.

But, if you keep your members in touch with each other throughout the year, in between meetings, this can be reduced significantly. Share conversation starters inside your HubSite. Encourage conversations between members. The more connected they feel, the better.

Keep Members Informed

Whether you’d like to admit it or not, every group has one: that one member that feels slighted if they aren’t in the know; who will react by debating every last agenda item, or refusing to vote, just to prove a point.

This scenario can also be avoided by simply posting regular association updates inside your Social HubSite. Share news, updates and other information that’s relevant to your association, even if it feels like it isn’t relevant to a specific community. Information is power!

Consider Moving Some Motions Online

It might feel a bit different, perhaps a little unprecedented, but, not all approvals and motions need to happen in person. In fact, if they could take place before a meeting happens, it would be easier for everyone.

Remember those pesky minutes from the last meeting that I mentioned earlier? Why not have members approve minutes right after a meeting ends by publishing them inside your Social HubSite, instead of waiting for the start of your next meeting? Seems simple, right?

Start Discussions Early

Some discussions are hard and have to happen in person. But, that doesn’t mean some of the groundwork can’t start in advance.

Consider giving committee members a heads up about upcoming meeting agendas. Let them know what topics will be discussed and share background information that might aide in the decision-making process.

Members will still need to discuss certain points at the actual meeting. But, they’ll be able to get a feel for where others stand beforehand if they can chat on an ongoing basis inside their Social HubSite. Advance conversations can make the meetings themselves smoother for everyone.

Use Planning Tools Appropriately

Sometimes meetings are extra productive. Everyone leaves with action items to work toward a common goal. Sometimes the week or two following the meeting feel just as productive.

Then…it stops.

Life takes over. Your group members go back to their lives and excitement seems to fizzle.

Then the next meeting comes and you realize you’re exactly where you were during the last one. Certain action items seem to be pushed to the back burner time and time again.

Social HubSite to the rescue. Our planning tools allow you to assign action items to specific members, and to track the progress as they are completed. This holds members accountable and helps some of the focus stay on the needs of your association.

Your next meeting can be productive and fulfilling, rather than a nightmare that you dread repeating over and over again. Use your Social HubSite and follow the tips above to remove problem areas and tension before they have a chance to take hold!

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